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At the time George Cascino '66 went to Penn State in the early '60s, the university had 56 fraternities. Of those fraternities, 50 were located off-campus. Sigma Chi was among the few located on-campus. However, convenient location was not, and is not all, that has made Sigma Chi a treasured fraternity.

“… I could not find another fraternity I felt comfortable with, but the first night I rushed at Sigma Chi back in 1962, I liked the house. I liked the brothers, I liked the atmosphere and so Sigma Chi was my choice,” Cascino says.

Cascino accredits the fraternity with many of his achievements.

“… It made my college a successful experience. It was the best decision I made, beside going to Penn State, and I've never looked back on it. It was a great experience with … [the] brothers while I was there, and a half a dozen of them have continued as close relationships since I graduated over 50 years ago,” he says.

Just as Sigma Chi supports its members, Cascino has been there to support Sigma Chi.

“… We had to make a decision either to spend $150,000 to upgrade the house from [a] fire protection point of view,[be]cause the house was built in 1905, or to make other arrangements, and what we did was, we bought a fraternity house downtown that was in financial trouble. We bought…the fraternity house with literally a down payment from Penn State, but we fell $250,000 short. So 10 of the alumni – I was one of them – signed on the dotted line as a cosigner on the mortgage to pay off the mortgage on the house. … When the house needed major renovations 10 years ago, they hit up the alumni for big substantial donations, which put a million dollars-worth of renovations into the house. And, we came up with the million dollars, some from very good alumni who contributed a lot of money that was put up to save the house, and bring that up to standards,” Cascino says.

During his time at Sigma Chi, Cascino served as president for one year, and traveled to Colorado and Indiana for the interest of the fraternity during crucial developmental years of both Sigma Chi and fraternities in general. Such dedication left Cascino with great memories.

“[I attended] the Grand Chapter of Sigma Chi in Colorado in 1964, [and represented] the fraternity at a critical time in their history. That particular session in Colorado sticks out in my mind... As far as Sigma Chi on the campus, there were a couple things. … We re-established Derby Days, which was big nationally, but had fallen off the map in Penn State. … Sweetheart Weekends were the most enjoyable weekends of all. … We had a band. Everybody got dressed up. We named a sweetheart of Sigma Chi... but I think probably you can't put it in a singular event. Every day was an experience, and every weekend was an experience. We had a rule those days. We had parties on Friday nights, Saturday nights and often on Saturday afternoons. And, in those days you could not go to a party without a date. It's different today. In those days you had to have a date. And, so it got me out of my social shell, and into a learn-about-the-world shell, which I've carried for the rest of my life,” Cascino explains.

He also had a few words to say about the news concerning Penn State fraternities lately.

“… When you've had fraternities there for 150 years, and you can pick on one instance that happened in 150 years at 55 different fraternities, that ain't bad. … You can't damage the whole system, and the whole school because of one tragic circumstance. It has had unbelievable impacts – good impacts on people's lives.”

After graduating Penn State, Cascino met success in his career

“I went to work for General Electric for six months, and then I joined the United States Public Health Service. During the Vietnam War, I served my military commitment in the public health service for three years, and then I left and became chief engineer at the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission in New Jersey, which was a state zoning agency, and I spent 14 years of my life there. And then, 33 years ago I setup my own consulting engineering practice, which I am still doing today.”

In Cascino’s personal life, he passed along the Sigma Chi tradition to his son, Dylan.

“He graduated Penn State in 2012. I was lucky enough to pin him at the initiation ceremony that I went to. I went back to the school, and participated in the ritual and saw him get pinned, which was quite a thrill. Actually, I come from a long line of Penn Staters. My dad graduated in 1935. My sister graduated in 1964. I graduated in 1966. My oldest son graduated in 2008. My youngest son graduated in 2012. All from Penn State, three generations,” Cascino says.

He reports he may be looking forward to retiring in approximately two years, and is enjoying watching his two accomplished sons continue to grow.

He still keeps in touch with many of his brothers – Rich Catalano '65, Duff Chambers '65, Donald DiFrancesco '66, John “Doby” Dobrynski '64, Andy Gildersleeve '67 and Dave Kline '65. They meet at homecoming every year and attend Penn State games.

To current actives and younger alums, Cascino has one major message: “… Stick with the fraternity life. … The clouds will pass, and the bonds that … formulate in a fraternity life, especially a chapter like Penn State, they won't be sorry for. They will get benefits for it for the rest of their life, and they just got to weather the storm right now, and it will pass... It's just a bad time right now, but it will pass.”